02/20/2010 12:00AM

Helen Belen dominates in Valdale


Helen Belen posted a thoroughly dominating triumph Saturday at 11-1 in the $50,000 Valdale Stakes at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., where none of the favorites hit the board in the one-mile Polytrack race for 3-year-old fillies.

With Sal Gonzalez Jr. riding for owner Desk Farms LLC and trainer Billy Denzik, Helen Belen went straight to front and was never threatened, drawing off down the stretch to win by 14 3/4 lengths over Hot Citizen, a 9-1 shot. Offlee Funny was third at 21-1, another length back, while Sister Resistor, the 11-10 favorite in the field of 10, ran sixth.

Helen Belen, a Kentucky-bred by Five Star Day, returned $24.20 after finishing in 1:37.96. The Valdale was her fourth start and her first around two turns, coming five weeks after she was third in the Cincinnati Trophy at Turfway in her stakes debut. Helen Belen is a logical candidate to run next in the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks on the March 27 Lane's End Stakes undercard at Turfway.

Besides Sister Resistor, a recent arrival from south Florida, other Valdale disappointments were Seasoned, seventh as the 6-1 third choice, and Lisa's Kitten, 10th as the 7-2 second choice.

The $2 exacta paid $230.80, and the $1 trifecta paid $1,300.10.